At one time or another everyone living with diabetes has fallen off the bandwagon.

What does this mean you may ask? Well, it could mean a number of different things, but in general it means your diabetes management is suffering for some reason or another. It may be that you have created bad eating habits and are having a hard time breaking those habits. Or you may just not care whether your blood sugars are good or not. Or the stress is just too much and it is getting to you, making everything about diabetes care seem like a heavy burden. You often hear many of these scenarios when talking about diabetes burnout.

Here are some tips to help you stay on the bandwagon and avoid diabetes burnout. Because once you are off the wagon, it can be very hard to get back on track.

Take one day at a time. Treatment and control of diabetes can become very overwhelming if you try to fix everything all at once. Take it slow and try making small changes to improve your control. Start each day fresh. Forget if yesterday was a bad day and stop dreading the next few days. Just focus on today and how you can control your blood sugar right now.

Make a plan. Make a plan for what you need to do to achieve better outcomes and control. Then apply the plan in a practical way to your everyday life. Remember to take it slow, so start by applying one piece of your plan at a time. Eventually you will have changed your lifestyle to fit your treatment needs. Keep track of how you are doing with your plan. You may need to adjust parts of your plan as you go along to fit your changing blood sugar trends. The only way to accomplish complete success and good control is to learn by trial and error. If a part of your plan isn’t working, try something new and adjust your plan to fit.

Allow for mistakes. No one is perfect. You WILL have bad days. And there will come a point that you want to jump off that bandwagon and never get back on. But remember the small changes make the difference. If you have a bad day and your blood sugar levels are all over the place, don’t let it affect tomorrow. Start over with the attitude that tomorrow will be better and that you will start fresh and correct the mistake. Don’t let that mistake ruin your whole plan.

Set your own expectations. There are certain standards when it comes to good diabetes control. But within those standards set goals for yourself. Don’t let anyone else set your goals for you. And don’t compare yourself to others and how they manage their diabetes. If you are setting and reaching your own small goals you are much more likely to reach even bigger health goals.

Remember that your doctor and healthcare team are there to help you and give suggestions, but not dictate to you what you should and shouldn’t be doing. You alone need to decide that. Once you have decided what treatment and management system works best for you and your lifestyle, then set a plan and carry out and strive to reach the daily goals that you have given yourself. If you have a bad day or just can’t stand it anymore, take a break and start over tomorrow.

Diabetes is a lifelong disease and, like most other things in life, you just have to roll with it. It is up to you to make the most out of your life and your diabetes. So make the decision to stay on the bandwagon.